SEATTLE-The University of Washington intends to expand its campus by up to three million square feet of office, classroom and research space in the next ten years, but several community groups complain of the environmental impacts of the project.

The university says that, by 2012, its population will reach about 65,000, which is a 16 percent increase from its current population. To accommodate this increase, the university has developed a master plan, which includes 60 new building sites.

The campus, which is located within the bounds of Northeast 45th Street, 15th Avenue Northeast, Portage Bay and Montlake Boulevard Northeast, needs City Council approval to develop its master plan.

Residents of the area fear traffic, density, noise and zoning issues may arise from the expansion. The are concerned the plan does not specify a schedule for the 60 new sites or a plan for dealing with the increased traffic it would undoubtedly bring. A public hearing will be held tomorrow to discuss the issue.

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